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How do you design your company for a digital first world?

photo courtesy of fauxels,

My new friend Roy Edwards in the UK Enterprise Times recently published an article story On Salesforce, “Status of connected clients” report. We took the time to discuss the study, which highlights how much customers have changed over the past few years.

Key themes include…

  1. A trust-based economy moves to the forefront
  2. Digital acceleration inspires personalization at scale
  3. New realities test brand loyalty (loyalty hangs in the balance, retention becomes mission-critical)
  4. Extending digital-first experiences to meet today’s

After the talk, Roy shared some follow-up questions. That part of the conversation didn’t end up in an article, but I’m happy to share the discussion with you.

I hope it helps.

Q1: What are the most important consumer behaviors that brands need to focus on now in order to survive and compete?

Our goal is to find the answer to this question within each function, and eventually across functions, to create a platform that provides a real-time, single view of the customer and makes it possible to deliver a single customer experience, regardless of where they are where in the journey. Connected customers expect a personalized, best-in-class experience.As we covered in our latest Salesforce “State of the Connected Customer[LINK]”Research shows that 88% of business customers and consumers say the experience your company provides is as important as your products and services. This is up from 80% in previous reports. Our research also found that they want companies to know they are unique needs and expectations, and even anticipate them. They want to feel an emotional connection to the brands they love. They want offers and engagement to always be personal.

I think this is an important CTRL-ALT-DEL moment for the enterprise. It’s not just about competing and surviving. It’s about turning disruption into an opportunity to be better, build more meaningful relationships, and drive growth by putting people and experience at the center of transformation. An important expectation that emerged from our research really hit home when it comes to customer experience and relationships, they told us most companies “see them as a number”.

We need to do more.

Q2: How do you design for a digital first world?

I recently had the opportunity to lead our Salesforce research partnership with Harvard Business Review Analytical Services for a major report on CX,”Make customer experience the core of your businessOne of the most important findings that inspired the direction of the report was that more than half of executive respondents ranked CX among their top five business priorities.

In the report, we learned that there are two dimensions to best-in-class CX: 1) Insights and 2) Engagement. Designing for a digital first world means we must organize around a platform where customer data can be transformed at every state of the customer journey (i.e. discovery, marketing, sales/commerce, service and support, and loyalty) For real-time insights and actionable engagement. Companies also need to reimagine operating models to support integrated customer insights and engagement. However, we found that only 16 percent of companies said they had a single 360-degree view of customer data but lacked the organizational structure to leverage these insights.

There is work to be done.

This is the starting point for future digital-first business design. We must look for opportunities to move away from industrial-age designs, models, and mindsets to write a new business leadership playbook for the digital-first era.

In the end, it takes courage to break the status quo and end business as usual. It also takes an open, curious mind to be fascinated by innovation and imagine “what greatness looks like” in order to create new value.

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